Summer brings in more work for lawn care professionals but can also create some challenges. The heat of summer in most regions can make outdoor work difficult for people as well as for mowers and other lawn equipment. While air temperature by itself this time of year usually won’t cause a mower to overheat, mowing lawns in the heat can increase the risk of it occurring. Mower overheating can be caused by a number of things, most of which, unlike the weather, are preventable:
- Low engine oil can cause some real damage to a lawn mower as it runs. The un-lubricated friction between parts can overheat and wear out the parts. Always go by the routine maintenance schedule in your manual and make sure you change and regularly check the level of your oil.
- Blocked cooling fins may be one of the more common causes of overheating in mowers specifically, since all the grass and debris from lawns or fields can easily end up in the cooling fins, keeping air from circulating and cooling the engine down.
- Low coolant, only on liquid-cooled mowers and not air-cooled.
- Clogged air cleaners, inlet screens or air paths can also prevent the cooling system from working properly on many mowers.
- Clogged cutting decks can overstrain the engine as it tries to power through with jammed blades, causing it to overheat.
- Mowing grass that is thick and wet can have a similar effect of making the engine work harder than it is designed to work. That is one reason why you should wait until grass dries before mowing grass.
If a mower does overheat, initially, the lawn mower might simply have low output. If you notice a change in your mower’s power, stop as soon as possible and shut off the engine to check out whether any of the above problems are causing it to overheat. Another symptom of an overheated mower engine can be that it will lock up or shut down, which might be a good thing because it will prevent further damage but also might be a sign of some damage itself. Depending on the engine, overheating can also cause even more serious damage, such as melted parts, blown gaskets or in some extreme cases, even fire.
As your lawn care company gets busy this summer, remember to keep your mowers well maintained and cleaned to prevent overheating and possible damage to your lawn equipment. If you have further questions on caring for your mower, feel free to contact your local Wright dealer.